As the winter months are officially upon us, my husband’s ability to play in the dirt has been greatly inhibited.
I thought our 5 bucket worm-compost, our 3 Rosemary plants, 3 Aloe plants, 2 Snake plants, 1 Ponytail Palm, 1 Ficus Tree, 1 Basil plant, and 1 Dragon Palm might be enough to quench his permaculture hunger in our winter, urban setting, but that was a silly thought.
So, we are embarking on a new adventure in urban gardening.
Microgreens include a wide variety of nutritious grass-like plants, grown rapidly, in shallow soil beds. While the Microgreen process can begin with sprouting seeds, they are not “sprouts”. When people sprout broccoli or alfalfa seeds, for example, the seeds are germinated and then eaten in their entirety. Microgreens, on the other hand, are grown in soil and the yield is chopped off before they have fully matured, often a month or less, after they have germinated.
You’ve most likely seen microgreens on salads, as a garnish or as a small pop of flavor in various recipes. They are often overlooked, but after doing some research, I am vowing to NEVER overlook these little delightful greens again!
As it turns out, cutting these small plants before they reach full maturity leaves them with an abundant amount of nutrients . In an article titled “Top 10 Questions about Growing Microgreens for Profit” by Craig Wallin, it states that, “According to Professor Qin Wang at the University of Maryland, microgreens are 4 to 40 fold more concentrated with nutrients. His research team tested 25 different commercially grown microgreens, and found consistently high levels of important nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, lutein and beta-carotene.”
These nutrients are not only beneficial to keeping our bodies healthy, but in high doses they can fight against disease, such as cancer and skin irregularities.
Not only are these fresh little shrubs wholesome, but they have strong and sometimes spicy flavors! Greens such as arugula, cabbage, cilantro, celery,or endive can give a natural spiced/peppery taste to foods, while sunflower seeds can provide a nutty accent, and some, like basil can be sweet. They act like herbs in their ability to flavor, and like juiced vegetables in their ability to provide nutrition.
“Vitamin C, vitamin K, and vitamin E levels were highest among red cabbage, garnet amaranth, and green daikon radish micro greens. Cilantro microgreens were richest in terms of lutein and beta-carotene.”
Needless to say, when I find something that is intensely nutrient dense AND flavorful AND super affordable AND adorable, I am immediately smitten. So my husband did not have to use too much persuasion to convince me to allow microgreens into our household.
But instead of just growing these wonderful little power houses for ourselves, we decided to grow for our family, friends, local restaurants and grocery stores.
Because we have JUST started, I wanted to share our excitement and the beginning of this adventure with our readers! We will be updating you on this process soon, and once we have some experience, both growing and selling, we may do more “how to” blogs. However, if you are interested in starting microgreens, yourself, I recommend, this blog which walks through the steps pretty clearly.
We will be doing updates soon 🙂